Saudi Arabia to grant business visa within 24 hours

Updated 11 January 2017

Saudi Arabia to grant business visa within 24 hours

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has adopted a new mechanism to grant business visas for foreign investors within 24 hours.
Foreign Ministry official Usama Nugali confirmed the move to Arab News on Sunday.
The new measure is aimed at allowing foreign investors to obtain business visas electronically within a day.
The application system for new visas for businesspeople and business delegations became effective Jan. 1.
The process for visit visas for commercial firms working in Saudi Arabia will be applied within the next few days.
The step reportedly comes in accordance with directives of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, which has called for stimulating the investment environment in a manner to improve business performance in the private sector.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) is opening contact with businesspeople to whom visas were issued in a step to encourage investment in the Kingdom.
SAGIA authorities aim to process requests of foreign business delegations in a two-day period instead of the previous 30 days.


Ukrainian pianist hits the high notes for Taif visitors

Updated 45 min 55 sec ago

Ukrainian pianist hits the high notes for Taif visitors

TAIF: It is not unusual for musicians to aim for the stars, but organizers of the Crown Prince Camel Festival in Taif gave the Ukrainian concert pianist Olina Lukashu a head start.

Visitors to the opening entertainment events at King Faisal Garden were treated to the sight and sound of Lukashu performing 5 meters in the air, dressed in a long white gown that reached down to the ground.

“It was decided to put her at the entrance of the garden, all dressed in white to welcome the visitors,” festival spokesman Saleh Al-Anzi told Arab News.

“It is a new idea that was greatly enjoyed by visitors, who admired her rendition of various musical pieces.”

Among the 25 events taking place in conjunction with this year’s festival is a circus presented by five Latin American countries, Al-Anzi said. There is also a free childcare service, mobile food courts, international restaurants and a live broadcasting studio.  “Visitors will be able to ride camels inside the park, and enjoy the handicrafts on display by various artisans,” he said.

Dr. Sami bin Abdullah Al-Obaidi, chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers, told Arab News the Taif Season was important in terms of generating employment opportunities for young Saudis, and creating tourist projects. “All the events are full of visitors,” he said.

He said 2,000 jobs were provided during the Taif Season, and those who took up the opportunities gained skills and knowledge about the requirements of an audience.

“Saudi culture has changed, and Saudis have become more aware of global challenges and requirements, and the expectations of tourists and other consumers,” he said. “Taif Season has set a high standard.”